SIXTY MEXICAN TEACHERS
ARE COMMISSIONED TO
STUDY IN BOSTON
NEW YORK CITY
&. Of J),
UN 24 19 5
Public Education and The Revolution
Education is one of the most serious and difficult problems that
exist at present in our country. We recognize that it is education alone
which can save our Republic, and it is in the bosom of education where
are kept the secrets of our dearest rights of liberty.
The solution of the problem of education is in truth the most
delicate one of the many that the Revolutionary Government has on
its hands. Many old and obsolete methods must be rooted up com-
pletely, all prejudice must be destroyed, and all those hidebound
rules that chain our liberty in a prison built of iron must be burned.
And the purifying waters of a reorganization will cleanse and preserve
This is the motive that prompts the Sub-secretary in charge of
the Ministry of Public Instruction to carry out these far-reaching plans
in the pursuance of his duties. Sefior Carranza has entrusted the
reformation and reconstruction of the National Education to the by
no means, small group of teachers and professors who followed the
First Chief on their apostolic journey. With this end in view numer-
ous commissions and groups have gone forth: 20 teachers to Yucatan,
44 to Puebla, 2 7 to Queretaro, 4 to Tabasco, 5 to circulate propaganda
in General Obregon's army, and 2 7 who will extend in active propa-
ganda by word of mouth the revolutionary ideas.
Commission in the Tabasco Schools
The following teachers, Miss Maria Tellez Escalante, Mies Con-
cepcion Chavez Coronel, Miss Tomasa Zufiiga, and Prof. Clemente.
Commissioners with the staff of the Army of General Obregon
as propagandists: Mr. Julio S. Hernandez, Mr. Matias Lopez, Mr.
Alfonso del Castillo, Mr. Jose Carmen Lopez, Mr. Rafael Vera
List of Teachers as Commissioners for the State of Puebla to
organize the schools: Messrs. Salome Cordova, Jose Maria Alvarado,
GENERAL VENUSTIANO CARRANZA
First Chief of the Mexican Revolution
MR. FELIX F. PALAVICINI
Minister of Public Instruction and Fine Arts
Jose L. Lozada, Antonio Aguirre; the Misses Maclovia de la Serna,
Rita Castro, Concepcion Olvera, Ana Maria Celaya, Esther Garcia,
List of Teachers as Commissioners for the State of Queretaro for
organizing the Schools: Enrique Garduno, Juan Manuel Diaz, Juan
de Mata Rivera, Felix B. Gamboa, Federico Alvarez, Narciso G.
Flores, Luis Lujan, Avelina Herrera, Julian L. Bernal, Elvira Farias
viuda de Bianchi, Carmen Calderon, Emma Olvera, Leonor Sierra,
Luis G. Morel, Ebedina de los Rios, Carlos B. Mendez, Jose Martinez.
A mere glance suffices to show the extraordinary importance of
the measure which has been resorted to. The "new sap" will infuse
new life in organizations which had become old and withered, in be-
ings that had lost their energy. These teachers who are inspired by
the purest principles of pedagogy will without doubt and positively
reflect the purifying cataclysm of the Revolutionary movement.
And if the appointment of commissions in the various States in
charge of the reforming of the educational branch means a determina-
tion worthy of the greatest praise for the head of the Army, the send-
ing of teachers abroad in the sensible form in which the same has been
planned, calls for the very highest acknowledgment and appreciation
on the part of all those who know what the instruction of the masses
means to the nations of modern times.
Only a few months ago a group of teachers left for the United
States seeking improvements in their studies so as to give thereafter
the proper impetus to the educational system of their country.
Another new commission, still larger than the first one, is now
leaving, so numerous that it appears almost like a scientific peregrina-
tion, a scientific crusade. They are looking for new horizons; they
are endeavoring to secure advantageous conceptions and they are
desirous of knowing new customs and new ideas. The new acquisi-
tions will then be, so to speak, forged in the heat of their patriotism
on the anvil of Mexican teachers and scientific methods and concep-
tions and artistic impressions will radiate under the National Sun.
Such is our impression and thus we desire it today, where 50 teachers
are wending their way to Boston, Massachusetts, spreading in this
manner the revolutionary ideas of the Head of the Nation and their
most original and purest conceptions.
On the steamer Monterrey there will sail from Vera Cruz today
this new commission headed by the attic Poet, Alfonso Cravioto, a
man of the exquisite culture of whom the Revolution must necessarily
be proud. Before the Commission leaves Mr. Carranza will hold a
reception for the members of the mission who, while paying their re-
spect to the Head of the Nation, will at the same time exprss to Mr.
Carranza their deep gratittude.
The new commission of teachers is made up as follows: Presi-
dent, and in charge of studying the establishments of Fine Art:
Secretary in charge of studying the organization and classifica-
tion of libraries and archives: Prof. Agustin Loera Chavez.
Political Economy and Female Labor: Maria de la Luz Alvarez,
Paula Vela Gonzales, Ernestina Medina Alvarado.
Arithmetic, Geometry and their application: Antonio Lopez,
Beatriz Cervantes, Rafael Jimenez.
Physical Education, Playgrounds: Felisa Anguiano, Soledad V.
Sanchez, Concepcion Morfin, Enrique Carrillo.
Moral and Civic Education and their relation to school discipline:
Eudoxia Torres Preciado, Maria Guadalupe Cisneros, Maria del
Refugio Barrueta, Javier Mejia, Braulio Rodriguez.
Musical Education: Maria Guadalupe Morales Hesse.
Education of backward children and of abnormal children:
Ambrosio R. Belmont, Rene Rodriguez, Sara Salinas, Alberto
Teaching of drawing and manual training; industrial initiation
in the primary schools: Saul Rivera, Eva Lopez, Manuel Centeno,
Josefina Arredondo, Carlos Barrios.
Kindergarten: Luz Serradell, Maria de la Luz Rivera, Maria
Teaching of physicial and natural sciences: Celfina Alcaraz,
Fernando Ximello, Otilia Saldana Rebolledo, Vicente Velasco.
Methodology of Geography and History: Carmen Reyes, Maria
Dolores Mendoza, Alfonso Taboada.
Teaching writing and reading: Maria de Jesus Maciel, Martina
Gomez, Francisca Garcia, Isabel Rodriguez, Maria Trinidad Rodri-
Children's Literature and Children's Library: Dolores Soto-
mayer, Holda Novelo, Esther Rodriguez Rebolledo.
Organization of industrial schools: Herlinda Gutierrez Esther
The commissioners are provided with the following general in-
structions, aside from the special instructions which result for every
one from his particular branch:
General Instructions for the Teachers Appointed to study at
Boston, Mass, U. S. A.
The object of the Government when commissioning teachers for
making studies abroad is to improve the primary education, selecting
the best that exists in the line of education in other countries and that
can be successfully adopted to our national conditions.
We seek to secure the moral and cultural improvement of the
teachers, who living there, in an atmosphere of advanced civiliza-
tion, will elevate their intellectual level and will modify their habits
and customs in the sense of human progress.
The contact of the Mexican school teachers with foreign civili-
zation will redound to the immediate benefit of their persons, as
units of the great Mexican Family and beyond that to the particular
advantage of the people of Mexico, because to the school teachers
is entrusted the mission to form the soul of the future generations
The school teachers thus commissioned should not forget a
single moment that they are expected to act as educators in the future
and in the same degree as their career gains in dignity, it is expected
that their love for the same should likewise increase.
Generally speaking, the tasks given to the teachers is to observe
carefully the primary education in the United States, the school life
of the pupils and teachers. For this object they will visit the elemen-
tary schools and will try to get a thorough insight into the methods
formed and into the proceedings as regards the different branches to
be taught. They will devote special attention to the teaching of writ-
ing and reading, noting carefully the innovations introduced in that
country so as to hasten and render more easy this branch. They will
observe the scope covered by the school program of each branch,
the distribution of the studies, the schedule of the studying periods,
the recesses, vacations, etc.
They will observe what text books are used in the primary
schools, their tendencies and the use made by the educators thereof.
The subject of particular attention shall be methodology of the
elementary instruction in the various branches which constitute the
They shall note how the progress of the pupils is ascertained,
whether by inspection, or by examinations and how one and the other
are brought about.
They will observe what opportunity is furnished and what pro-
gram is obligatory for the primary instruction teachers.
They will study the rules of discipline which are used in the
schools, taking good note of the means used by the teachers for im-
posing punishment on the pupils, as well as the proceedings to bring
about emulation with regard to the rules in the duties and obligations
of the pupils. They will study the pedagogical papers, the themes for
the lessons, noting those which are freely selected from the program
by the teachers. In general, they will pay attention to the outfit of
the schools, physical cabinets, chemical laboratories, national history
collections, children's and school libraries, as well as everything re-
ferring to the moral upbuilding of the pupils.
They shall render a monthly report covering the schools which
they have visited and the work done during this time. At the expira-
tion of their mission and their return to the country they shall submit
a general report with their observations concerning such metohds as
they think ought to be adopted by our own schools.
They shall lecture before the teachers, informing them of the
pedagogical innovations which they have observed in the American
schools, and in short, they shall fulfill all demands of the tasks for
which the executive has designated them.
Aside from the general lines layed down above, each teacher
shall study one of the branches of the Primary Program, pursuant
to his capacity and inclination. For the carrying out of all the fore-
going, the Chief of the Constitutionalist Army in charge of the Execu-
tive Power of the Union and Chief of the Revolution has decreed
that you be commissioned by this Office to study the primary schools
of the United States of America, especially in the State of Massachu-
setts with the regular residence in the city of Boston, with the under-
standing, however, that you shall visit other States of the Union, in
case the Government should so decide.
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Speach of Mr. Felix F. Palavicini
Commissioner of the Secretaryship
of Public Instruction and
Chief of the Executive Power:
In accordance with your instructions, the Commission of Mexi-
can Teachers which will go to the United States seeking an improve-
ment in their educational system is already to start out. The realiza-
tion of this plan is a joy to our souls; the redemption of the school
teacher, as a firm tendency and high purpose has been the program of
all our aspirations and desires that germinated for the good of the
country in our brains and were manifest in us as far back as we can
Old Spanish custom made of the school teacher, a poor, ordinary
being, lean and emaciated of mind, and weak of will, a being of
limited horizon whose intellectual power was marked out in the nar-
row compass of the Estimate of Expenses (Budget), always avaricious
when it was a matter of schools and teachers. Hence the narrow life,
the empty stomach, the weak intellect, the slovenly, almost repugnant
appearance of school teachers. The poor teacher of yesterday in
the villages who was a saddler, or a mason, tailor or barber, while
he was civilizing the people with instruction in the alphabet; the
teacher in the towns, was secretary of the City Council or of the Civil
Register, in order to complete his salary, up to the teacher of today,
who has a profession equal to any other, as regards the mental effort
needed to acquire it, and scientific competence, indispensable for its
The National Mastership has been changing for the better and
in sending teachers to a foreign country, the teaching profession will
suffer a complete metamorphosis.
Let the glory of erecting magnificent palaces of marble and
granite, wonderful aqueducts, the glory of constructing thousands of
kilometers of railroads, of building wide avenues, of opening up
roads, of dredging harbors and rivers and even the glory of building
schools belong to other rulers. But let the glory of forming school
teachers go to Carranza. Let the names of the rulers that accomplish
material works be engraved on the palace, on the bridge, on the
railroad; let them be sculptured on marble and onyx. They will last
only as long as quarries last, but frame a national soul, new and
vigorous, and exuberant, that may bring forth powerful generations
in the future, and then the name of the ruler, who is sending these
teachers to the United States, will remain in a history that is not weak
and fragile, because it is eternal.
We Mexicans will call the "Epoch of Carranza" that of "Primary
Instruction." Carranza, who stands up in protest of grouping about
him men of spirit, Carranza, who creates an army and saves the honor
of a nation before the world is a grand figure. But this figure is not
comparable to the one of the ruler, who, foreseeing the future needs
of his country, trains a legion of educators, at the time when the
roaring of cannon is still sowing panic among the obstructionists and
The American Secretary of State, Mr. Bryan, wrote a short
time ago in reference to Mexico: "A democracy must be maintained
by education, by the education of the people, and the schools will
be of as much value to Mexico as its fertile extents of land." Chilon
says of Jupiter that the Olympic god used to humble the proud and
lift up the humble, and Pitaco, that the government reveals of what
stuff a man is made. Mr. Carranza fulfils his mission with the people,
furnishing teachers who will lift up the humble, and he manifests his
altruism clearly in his actions as ruler. The Mexican teachers are
going to the United States, with the great enthusiasm of those who
desire to be educated and rise above the broad field of mediocrity.
If it is true that for Mexico the epoch of great speculators has passed,
and that of opening wide the doors to those who strive after the
ideal, has arrived, and if it is certain that the zoocracy has been over-
come, the teachers are doing well in arriving with hearts full of hope.
Let them study in the United States -the spirit of Washington, re-
vealed in the energy of a people, collectively surpassing the isolated
virtue of Cincinatus; let them observe how the fruitful power of pro-
duction can be associated with the intense love for one's country,
and let them see at close range how perseverance, tenacity of purpose,
initiative, personal courage, make of every citizen a free man, because
when he sings the hymns of his rights, it is because he has already
recited softly the prayers of his obligations; that everything is corre-
lative, that one must give in order to receive, that one must offer
one's self, when one is entreated to, and that the result is not like
the Biblical manna, for in the weaving and unweaving of Penelope's
cloth, one fact in public life remains, is preserved, and lasts, and
that is the desire to live. The teachers are going to compare their
traditional racial gloom, their hereditary melancholy, with that un-
thinking happiness of the foreigners and enthusiasm of living, that
makes nations powerful and countries great. They are leaving, not
without some doubt as to the outcome of their stated hope of each one
becoming a wise man, such as Aristipo, a pupil of Socrates, explained,
saying: "Just as those who eat a great deal do not have better
health than those who eat only what is necessary, so those should
not be considered learned, who learn many things, but rather those
who learn that which can be of use to them." And it is certain that
duty consists in being useful, not in the way one desires, but in the
way one is able.
Mr. Carranza made no mistake in gathering around his govern-
ment school teachers, but yesterday confined in the narrow bounds
of the Federal District, where they no longer saw any moving waters
except those of the canal of Santa Anita, nor any monument greater
than the tower of the Colegiata in the village of Guadalupe. He
wants them to regard the limitless horizon of their native country, the
immense sea, and the natural resources, an inexhaustibe fountain, an
abundant reserve that the nation possesses for its prosperity and
They have gone from one end of it to the other, examining the
country, and they are found directing schools in capitals of states
as far away as Chiapas and Yucatan.
Those that are today going to the United States will all study
at the same time the primary schools, but in them, however, each
teacher will devote himself to one specialty, and when they master
the English language, the assimilation of pedagogical methods will
be rapid and easy for them.
But the fundamental aim of the teachers that are going to the
United States will not be to acquire simple technical mechanism, nor
will it be the automatic function of teaching, but it will be the desire
to saturate themselves with sane views, and to shake off the dust of
old prejudices, for one acquires the habit of being strong, by living
in contact with strong men, and that the respect for freedom of
conscience and the habit of having confidence in themselves may make
chem capable of loving the ideal, within the reality, and of turning
that which exists, that which lives, and that which thinks into an
immediate utility of that which must triumph and live.
And before they depart they want to shake hands with you, sir.
They have come to assure you that liberal-minded, and teachers
ihrough and through, they will carry along in their gratitude, the
religion for their country, the apostleship of the school, and their
faith in Carranza. who not only possesses it. but who knows how to
instil it into others. They are coming to prom.ise the Mexican people,
through your most worthy conduct, that they will not spare physical
or mental efforts to put all their faculties intact into the service of
Statement of Mr. Alfonso Cravioto
Acting Sub-Secretary of Public Instruction
and Fine Arts in the Carranza
Mr. Alfonso Cravioto, a High Official in the Carranza Government and
Actual Sub-Secretary in the Department of Public Instruction,
Made the Following Statement to the Press:
"The object of rr.y voyage is solely the desire of the First Chief
of the Revolution, Mr. Venustiano Carranza to improve the Educa-
tional System in Mexico. The actual revolutionary movement which
is about to be brought to a definite and triumphant end, was initiated
in behalf of the people, for the purpose of bettering their condition.
The liberty of man is in direct proportion to his economic and educa-
tional condition. The Revolution has occupied itself in distributing
lands and in bettering and extending Public Instruction.
"Mr. Carranza is a nobleman, a great friend of school teachers
and school children, his collaborator in this work being Mr. Felix
F. Palavicini, who today is the head of the Department of Public
Instruction. Mr. Palavicini was called to the head of the department
at a time when politics were in a turmoil. Notwithstanding the short
time he was at the head of the Department in Mexico City, Mr.
Palavicini formed and established a new system of education, in ac-
cordance with the ideals of the Revolution and without precedent in
the history of rry country.
"Here is an outline of the work accomplished by Carranza' s
Government in regard to Educational lines: A law reorganizing the
National University, separating it from politics and making it an es-
tablished and independent institution, making the University free
from danger at any political change, establishing a body of school
teachers, ordering a complete revision of the educational program:
the creation of a General Directory of the Department of Arts and the
:::r.plete reorganization of the Ministry of Public Instruction are due
to him. Mr. Palavicini firmly convinced of the uselessness of the
Minis::;- :: Public Instruction, at once started to reorganize the dif-
:erer.t departments so as to be able to put an end quickly to the said
.Nlinistry. Inconsiderate of his personal welfare, when Mr. Carranza
changed the government from Mexico City to \ era Cruz on account
the campaign, he called to his side all of the school teachers, all
exing bis appeal. Some are already in the City of Boston to
finish their studies and now 50 more are leaving with the same ob-
ject. They are the following: President and in charge of studying
the arts. Mr. Alfonso Cravioto: Secretary, and in charge of studying
die : :i:?."ization and classification of libraries and archives. Professor
Ar_5::r. i_oera Chavez: political economy and feminine works. Maria
de la Luz Alvarez. Paula \ ela Gonzalez. Ernestina Medina: arithmetic,
geometry and branches. Antonia Lopez. Beatrice Cervantes. Concep-
cion Mo::. n Rafael imenez; moral and civic educational school disci-
pline, Eudoxia Torres Preciado. Maria Cisneros. Maria Barrueta. Javier
Mejia. B. Rodriguez: musical education. M. J. Morals: education of
abnormal and backward children. A. R. Belmont B. Rodriguez. S.
Sa.ir.as A. Guevara: drawing and manual training. S. Rivera. E.
Lopez. M. Centeno. J. Arredondo. C. Barrios: kindergarten. L. Ser-
radelL M. L. Rivera. M. Luna: physical and natural sciences. C.
Alcaraz. F. Ximello. O. Soldana. \ . \ elasco : metalogy of geography
and r.i.zry [lannen Reyes. M. Mendoza. A. Taboada: reading and
r.g. M. Maciel. M. Gomez. F. Garcia. I. Rodriguez. M. Rodriguez:
libraries for children. Dolores Sotomayor. H. Novelo. E. Revolledo:
organization of industrial schools. H. Gutierrez. E. Rodriguez.
"Besides, commissions of teachers have been sent to all the ter-
ritorials occupied by Carranza forces.
The commission which is today leaving for Boston will be fol-
lowed by others, as it is Mr. Carranza's object to have all the school
teachers spend a year in Boston to finish their studies. Mr. Bryan
in speaking or Mexico, expressed himself as follows: Democracy
should be sustained by Education of the people and that Mexico should
see in her schools elements as valuable as her fertile lands.' In these
few words can be found the program of our education system. In
realization of this need, a very important department has been created
in \ era Craz. called 'The Section of Social Legislation." Mr. J. H.
- - _ at :he head of this department. This department has
formulated and put into service the following laws
zitions to the Plan of Guadalupe."
"Free Municipality as a basis of territorial division of lands and
the political organization of States
'"Land Law — for the purpose of returning to people lands stolen
"Labor Lav. 5
"I close now. showing you that the sending of this commission
of school teachers indicates the tendencies toward culture of the rt
lution headed by Mr. Carranza and the complete faith we have in our
"Intervention" By School Teachers
Objects of the Mexican Commission of
Educators, in Boston, to Learn
Methods for Uplifting Their
People at Home
Reprinted from The Boston Transcript
By Bernard Gallant.
A realization that true democracy cannot exist without genuine,
popular education has brought to the United States a commission of
fifty-five Mexican school teachers for the purpose of studying our
educational institutions. The commission consists of eleven men and
forty-four women, From their headquarters in Boston they are to
make a long and exhaustive study of American schools, colleges,
universities, libraries and vocational training schools with the view of
adapting what is best in American methods to the educational needs
of Mexico. Every field of educational training will be covered by the
commission. It will remain in this country not less than a year, while
some of its members are scheduled to stay here as long as three years.
Five months ago the first group of Mexican school teachers
came to this country. They were the pioneers of the new educational
movement of the land beyond the Rio Grande. They represented
the modern and came upon the wave of revolution which has cost so
much strife and sorrow. They were people from every walk of
social life in Mexico, from the poor peon to the rich land owner.
But all were imbued with the dream of a freer and better Mexico.
They located in Boston, the fame of that city having travelled even
to the distant plains of Mexico. They could speak no English, knew
little of the customs of the land, but the friendly reception accorded
to them by the Bostonians was so gratifying and the results of their
work so satisfactory, that Boston was chosen as the home of the
According to Senor Cravioto, president of the commission, the
following branches of study are to be pursued by the members:
Libraries, their organization, classification and the keeping of archives,
political and social economy; moral and civic education; school disci-
pline; education of abnormal and backward children; physics and the
natural sciences; organization of industrial schools; musical education
for children; kindergartens and children's libraries. This, however,
is only part of the program. The members of the first commission
have in the mean time been investigating the vocational training
system of education, domestic sciences, night schools and rural schools.
More Than Force of Arms Needed.
"Senor Carranza," said Alfonso Cravioto, "realizes that Mexico
cannot and will not be pacified by the force of arms alone. While our
military forces are victorious upon the battlefields, the leaders of the
revolution appreciate that only through popular education will Mexico
attain the independence she is seeking. For that very reason we are
preparing ourselves for peace in time of war. When the people are
educated they will be able to control themselves and govern in a
manner truly democratic.
"During the days of Diaz the schools were only show places to
please and win the favor of the rich foreign friends or Diaz and
his ministers. They were attended only by the few rich, while the
poor never had the opportunities of gaining an education. That ac-
counts for the fact that eighty-five per cent, of all the people in
Mexico are totally illiterate. Under the system adopted by Senor
Carranza, education in Mexico is to be compulsory, and will be within
the reach of all. Not only will instruction be free, but all books,
laboratories, libraries and various experimental stations will be free
and open to all who desire knowledge.
"Senor Felix Palavicini, Minister of Public Instruction, has taken
in consideration the geographical conditions of our country. In Mexico
only six per cent, of the population live in the cities. The rest of
the people are scattered over huge haciendas, vast plains far away
from the cities and in some cases even miles away from a railroad.
Therefore, part of the commission's work will be to establish rural
schools. Travelling schools will be equipped with all the necessary
material and be sent broadcast. One train is to follow the other and
the children of the poor peon, as well as the rich land owner, will
have the same opportunity of acquiring an education."
The choice of the members of the commission is characteristic
of the various types of the Indians that populate that vast country.
They represent nearly every important State in Mexico and comprise
many different social stratas. Preference was given to women in the
selection of the commission because of the sudden awakening of
the woman in that country and her great work for the cause of the
With the murder of Francisco I. Madero and the usurpation
of the presidency by Victoriano Huerta, the women cast aside the
traditions of Mexico and for the first time in the history of that
country took an active part in the revolt. Almost from the first day
of the Carranza revolution the women were his stanchest supporters.
They organized Red Cross corps, carried on propaganda among the
soldiers, and took care of those who fell into the hands of the enemy.
For this work they demanded a hand in the reconstruction of
their country. They demanded equal opportunities of life, they de-
manded that every field of human endeavor be opened to them. And
this was granted to them by the leaders of the revolution.
Mexican Women Not Seeking to Vote.
"The Mexican women are not seeking the ballot," declared
Senorita Maria Martinez, "because at present they are interested in
the great rehabilitation of their country. We want the opportunity
to study and join every profession open to men. We want all the
walks of human society open to us, we believe that by these means
we can accomplish as much as by the ballot. However, when the
time comes and the women of Mexico feel the need of the franchise
we shall demand it, and I am sure we will attain it very easily. At
present we are interested in education.
"According to the system evolved by our commission we expect
to bring the greatest results of democracy. In the same schools chil-
dren of the poor and rich will meet on the same plane. The little
girls will meet the little boys. They will not grow up with the idea
that the women are sacred beings who are not to be soiled by the
struggles of life, as are the views of the Latins. The women will
learn to share part of the responsibilities and the struggles of life.
That will bring about the greatest results which make for true
democracy. Men and women will be individuals. That will be at-
tained through co-educational training."
Every member of the commission has had active school training.
Every one of them has taken an active part in the revolution, and a
good number of them have served terms in jail while Huerta was in
control of the Government.
"Senor Carranza." declared Alfonso Cravioto. "'is a civilian at
heart. While he is organizing armies and sending them to fight the
battles of freedom, he is at the same time thinking of the men arid
women who do not shoulder a rifle. They, too, share the great
burdens of the political struggle. They. too. suffer and it is they who
are to benefit from, the fight as well as the members who are per-
forming active military service.
"While the most serious problem Mexico is trying to solve is the
land question, that is not the most important. Beneath every problem
will be found the great lack of education and understanding. No
laws can be promulgated if the people are unable to read these laws
Nothing can be accompished if the people do not understand the
meaning of it. For that very reason Serior Carranza is thinking or
education long before the revolution has come to a successful close.
In the meantime men of education follow the armies and in every
place lectures are delivered to the people and the new order of things
is explained to them. This has already borne its fruits. Never was
the cry for knowledge and education so great as it is at present."
Massachusetts System Adopted.
The commission is not going to wait till its mission is complete
before its findings and results will be applied to the needs of Mexico
They are to make monthly reports and their suggestions will be put
immediately into operation.
So far the vocational training school system of the States of Wis-
consin and Massachusetts has been adopted and is being used in the
territory controlled by Carranza. By the practical demonstrations of
genuine interest in the people, the members claim, Carranza is winning
the multitudes on his side. None of the teachers would discuss the
political phase of the revolt. They would not consider any questions
regarding the bandit-general Villa. "We have come to study," they
said, "but not to discuss politics. We are not politicians; we are
All, however, seemed confident that the Constitutionalists would
triumph. All seemed certain that victory is but a short distance a
but none would discuss the political campaign.
Under the guidance of the seven members of the first commission.
the members will begin their work at once. After a few months of
work in Boston, half of the members will begin a tour of the principle
cities of the country. The object of the tour will be to compare
the Western and midAVestern institutions with those of the East.
The reports of those members will be forwarded to Boston and from
there will go directly to the Carranza government at Vera Cruz.
The commission is a part of the reconstructive Mexican policy
adopted by the Constitutionalist government for the rehabilitation
and reorganization of the country.
C O o-
The Work of Mr. Carranza
In The Department of
Mr. Felix F. Palavicini, came to the ministry the twenty-fifth
of August. Immediately he put an end to the administrative per-
sonnel, and twenty-four hours later, the parts of the secretaryship
were carrying out their normal functions. He changes the faculties
of all the superior (higher) schools; he formulates a new estimate;
he restores the General Direction of Primary Education with four
sections and the service of General Supervision — this last, without
spending a single centavo in furnishings and commodities of which
there was an excess in several departments — he suppresses Federal
intervention in the teaching in the States, granting the rudimentary
schools already established to the Governors of the Federative En-
tities; he discharges the old personnel and establishes the new ministry
of Superior Education. He suppresses the Council of Primary Educa-
tion and of Kindergartens and appoints a new personnel for it. He
names delegates for the Fifth National Congress of Primary Education,
which will meet immediately in Pachuca; he introduces, one by one,
all the new directors of the Faculties, making a speech in each one
of the establishments; he arranges to have a directory of schools of
culture and fine arts made, for the use of the public. He begins the
formation of a book on "Monumental Mexico," in which every chapter
will be written by an authority, a specialist in each branch; he changes
the procedal of inspection in the scholastic zones; he formulates
technical circulars, systematizing the instruction in arithmetic, in the
Castilian language and in geography in the grammar schools; he pre-
pares a bill regulating the promotion of teachers, in due time, accord-
ing to the strict army registry and the retirements and pensions on
account of accidents or long services. He visits the departments; he
arranges a plan of study for the reorganization of the Medical, Patho-
logical and Bacteriological Institutes; he changes the name, the form,
and the personnel of the editing staff of the old Bulletin of Public
Instruction, naming it "Bulletin of Education."
Now, in reference to the administrative part, he saves a sum
of $150,000 in the Special Estimate, notwithstanding the fact that
he has kept up the increase of 25 per cent, in the salaries of teachers
of primary schools, a sum which amounts to over $1,000,000, an
increase that he obtained as Deputy Counsel at the Congress of the
Union, by maintaining all the profits that go to consume the estimate
to the detriment of educational interests; he seeks the nullification
of the seventy contracts for renting of houses for schools, formulated
in the time of the usurpation, just as every financial operation of
weight realized by merchants of morbid influence and by enemies
crafty and political. He arranges a new system of economy with the
revision of the estimate of all the educational institutions, and the
exclusive power of the Administrative Department in purchases of
furnishings, utensils, and implements for the schools, just as in the
sanction of contracts for engineering or architectural works or installa-
tions in general. It refuses all unnecessary aids and authorizes in their
place those of rigid legitimacy, retaining the pensions of self-denying
instructors, who consumed their energies at the altars of national
education, just as all those of poor students, who have revealed pro-
found love for the study and remarkable talents for it.
While this work is developing the pedagog does not abandon the
politician, but of this man, in accordance with his liberal principles
and constitutionalist ideas, judges the existence of the Ministry of
Public Instruction and Fine Arts, as an offense to the Federation,
and in being introduced to the President of the National University,
and in the presence of the First Leader who was presiding over the
ceremony, declared in a speech, which will be epoch-making in the
history of Mexican culture: "That the University must be free, that
the Ministry in charge of it must disappear in order that politics may
not interfere in instruction;" and a few days later he obtains from the
First Leader a decree that abolishes the pedantic faculties product
of the old law, and in place of these, designates a body of eminent
thinkers who may study and formulate the following plan. Moreover,
to the same Secretary are due the following works: Creation of the
General Direction of Fine Arts; decree defending the preservation of
and respect for our monuments of art; formation of the Museum of
Colonial Art; reparation and preservation of the Convent of la Merced,
the rarest jewel of ancient architecture; organization of an Exposi-
tion of School Work and Fine Arts; Archeologic Exposition of the
Aztec ruins of Santa Teresa Street; inspection of the Archeological
Monuments of San Juan Teotihuacan; plans for a scientific classifica-
tion of the objects in the National Museum of History and Ethnology
and- in the National School of Fine Arts; organization of a Congress
of Specialists for unification in the teaching of the national language,
in view of the fact that some professors are guided by the Spanish
Academy and others by the precepts of don Andres Bello; organiza-
tion of a Congress for unification in the teaching of stenography;
suppression of the usual prizes and creation of the republican prize;
reorganization of the Pedagogical Museum.
Study and Editing of a Rule of Esclafon of the faculties, includ-
ing the establishment of a Congress of Honoranda Law in regard to
Edition, Publication and Distribution of the work "Ten Great
Citizens in our History," with purpose to combat the grave defect in
relative instruction, in exalting almost exclusively military men, war-
like deeds and prowess of arms, putting in the shade our illustrious
Cancellation of onerous contracts and savings in the taxes of
Organization of the Plan of Studies of the National Preparatory
School, distributing the curriculum among specialties.
Reorganization of the plans of study in the National Schools of
Jurisprudence, Superior of Commerce and Administration, and Normal
Organization of the Plan of Studies for mining engineers, cover-
ing six years, including in them preparatory studies.
Suppression of the Pathological Institute and practical applica-
tion of the Bacteriological in the cheap and abundant production of
Study, discussion and editing of the Plan of Law (which will
soon be published, to give autonomy to the National University and
separate the superior schools from political contingencies.
The New Organization
Secretary of Public Instruction
and Fine Arts
In order to give unity of judgment and action to the different
branches of instruction that come under the Ministry of Public In-
struction, the First Chief of the Constitutionalist Army, charged with
executive power, has consented to a new organization and distribution
of the dependencies of the ministry.
All branches of the ministry will be discontinued with the excep-
tion of the administrative branch; General Boards will be established
which will conform directly with those of the Ministry of State as long
as that Ministry lasts.
The special organization of the Ministry will consist of a secre-
tary, a sub-secretary, a private and an administrative branch. 1 he
different sections will be distributed according to the arrangement of
the following General Boards:
GENERAL BOARD OF PRIMARY, PREPARATORY, AND
Will Have Under His Jurisdiction the Following Institutions:
Elementary Primary Schools.
Primary Schools of the territories of Fepic and lower California.
Schools of Pedagogic Experimentation.
National Preparatory Schools.
National Boarding Schools.
General Storehouce of materials for Public Instruction.
Student Dental Dispensary.
Inspection of Hygienic Service.
Inspection of Physical Education.
Inspection of Harmony and Choral Music.
Inspection of Drawing and Manual Training.
GENERAL BOARD OF FINE ARTS.
With the Following Dependencies:
National School of Fine Arts.
Conservatory of Music and Dramatic Art.
Inspection of Arcihtecture.
National Museum of Archeology, History and Ethnology.
Museum of Colonial Art.
General Archives of the Nation.
Registry of Copyrights.
GENERAL BOARD OF TECHNICAL EDUCATION
With the Following Dependencies:
School of Arts and Crafts for Men.
National School of Arts and Crafts for Young Women.
High School of Commerce and Business Administration.
"Doctor Mora" Commercial School for Men.
Miguel Lerdo de Tejada Commercial School, Young Women.
Jose Maria Chavez Industrial School for Men.
Corregidora de Queretero Industrial School for Young Ladies.
Vasco de Quiroga Industrial School.
Gertrudis Armendaris de Hidalgo Industrial School.
MR. FELIX F. PALAVICINI
Secretary of Public Instruction and Fine Arts
in the Carranza Government
The Life of A Fighter
The enforced tranquility which characterizes the long reign of
the dictator, Porfirio Diaz, laid a ban not only on all manifestations
of public life, but also upon private life, paralyzing any individual
initiative on the part of the citizens.
Only after the Creelman interview did the men of action again
make their appearance at the very time when the dictatorship reached
its highst importance and development. But those who witnessed the
appearance of these men thought them weaklings and narrow. The
false splendor of the tinsel and glitter to which we had become accus-
timed during a reign of thirty years sustaind by the adulation of the
papers, had, as it were thrown a veil over all our social miseries. It
was but natural that under these circumstances those who raised their
voices in the beginning were thought to be demented.
But four years of fighting has sufficed to change this impression.
From the political theatre have disappeared the self complacent
fighters of yesterday, but those remain who have withstood indiffer-
ence, persecution and threats and they fight and keep on fighting until
the democratic ideals proclaimed by them have been victorious.
To this small and persistent group belongs Felix F. Palavicini, a
civil engineer, who at the present moment is at the head of the educa-
tional system of Mexico. His life, full of efforts and devoted to the
overcoming of enumerable difficulties is worthy of being imitated.
Felix F. Palavicini was born at Teapa, State of Tabasco, in
the year 1 88 1 . His parents were Juan Vicente Palavicini and Beatriz
Loria Prats. Although his parents belonged to a high social class, their
son was far from enjoying a cheerful youth, because at the age of 4
years he lost his father and then had to pass through a period of priva-
tions and misery. He was sent to school, but the entire lack of re-
sources forced him to resort to a livelihood of the very humblest char-
acter. He was reduced to the necessity of acting as guide of a blind
man and to sell candies and pastries; thus he succeeded in providing
a livelihood for himself and his mother.
This life of misery did not end until he found a protector in
the person of Gregorio Castellanos Ruiz, a lawyer from the State of
Campeche, his stepfather, to whom Palavicini owes his first educa-
Young Palavicini when still a student soon showed traces of
extraordinary energy inherent in him; while still a student, he was
made a delegate and secretary of the "Salarios" commission at the
Agricultural Congress, held in his State, he was expelled from the
commission, because he maintained that the slavery of the peons in
Tabasco should not be further protected. (Governor Davila of Yuca-
tan has just promulgated a law to that end.)
In November, 1901 he secured the degree of topographical en-
gineer and in 1 904 settled in the City of Mexico to exercise there his
For some time he was an assistant in the general light-house ser-
vice and then took charge of the constructions of the firm of Viuda e
Hijos de Jose M. del Rio under the management of Civil-engineer
Jorge del Rio.
Two years afterwards he was appointed professor of manual
training in the school connected with the teacher's Normal School and
the ability shown there by him caused the Mexican Government to
commission him to study the manual training schools and industrial
schools of Boston, Mass., U. S. A. and those of France, Belgium and
Switzerland. He traveled extensively in those countries and enlarged
his scope of knowledge in the courses of Mr. Lucien Magne and Mr.
Andree Liesse in the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts at
Paris. However, brilliant was his work in Europe, and although his
profession pointed to the path of education, the necessity of actual
conditions forced him to become a paladine of the press and of the
speaker's platform. From 1907 onward his life was one of difficulties
and obstacles, but he did not allow himself to become discouraged.
He retained the same energy as of yore.
In 1909 when the revolutionist movement started Mr. Palavicini
resisted energetically the dictatorial Government of General Abraham
Bandala as editor of the weekly paper "El Precursor" and in Mexico
City he founded in 1907 the Review called "El Centro Tabasqueno"
and also the political group bearing the same name. Having thus
prepared the soil he started his work as a political leader, opposing
in his daily newspaper "El Partido Republicano" the Government of
General Porfirio Diaz the re-election of whom he sought to render
In 1 909 when the revolutionist movement started Mr. Palvacini
was Secretary of the Anti-Releccionista Centre of Mexico, and accom-
panied Mr. Francisco I. Madero on his first political trip through the
The consequence was that he was exposed to all sorts of persecu-
tions and in his quality as editor of the "Anti-Releccionista" he was
prosecuted in the Courts.
At the very moment when Mexico displayed the greatest splendor
at the time of celebration of the Centenary, Palavicini found him-
self in the greatest plight; the doors were closed against him,
and finding himself deserted on all sides, he was reduced to the
necessity of serving in one of the most sumptuous restaurants of
Mexico, but even there he could not stay a long time and was dis-
charged. But the triumph of the glorious revolution of 1910 changed
the political life of Mexico. New and wider horizons offered them-
selves to the spirit of the political fighters, and they were soon joined
by Mr. Palavicini He was a delegate at the convention of the Consti-
tutional Progressive Party in August, 1911; he founded and edited
the Review "Tabasco", and in the electoral fight for the first district
of Tabasco he beat decidedly all his opponents.
In the Legislature he found an opportunity to expound in fiery
speeches the high character of his convictions.
There he showed his strict adherence to the platform which he
had submitted as a candidate and he started and sustained a number
of laws and constitutional amendments of the greatest importance
and of extraordinary benefit to the people; all of them were adopted.
There he also showed himself as the true friend and defender of the
When on the 1 0th of October, 1913, Huerta effected his "Coup
d'etat" Mr. Palavicini was one of the deputies locked up in the Peni-
tentiary, where he was treated with the greatest vigor.
Time and again he was on the point of losing his life, but he
never lost his courage and his energy. On the 25th of August, 1913,
the General in Chief of the Constitutionalist Army offered him the
post as Secretary of Public Instructions and Fine Arts and as such he
has brought about a complete reorganization of the educational
Apart from all this comprehensive work Mr. Palavicini has
shown himself to be an author of the first rank on pedagogical mat-
ters as is clearly shown by the comprehensive writings that he has
Such has been the inspiring life of this champion of Mexican
ideals who with an inflexible strength of character succeeded in rising
from the drags of misery to his present elevated position, and his
country once freed will expect great things of Mr. Palavicini.
(From the "Boletin de Education" Mexico. )
The Revolutionary Work Done
by Mr. Cravioto
The prominent features of the life of the Head of the Commis-
sion are worthy of being known. We submit them herewith:
Alfonso Cravioto was born in Pachuca on the 24th of January,
1 884. He began his literary and political career by editing the Anti-
clerical Weekly, "El Desfanatizador," in which he fought against the
reactionary disposition of the Governor of Hidalgo, Pedro L. Rodri-
guez. He entered the law school at Mexico in 1902 and took an
active part in the alumni societies, laying great stress on efforts to
direct their tendencies towards an efficient participation in the affairs
of the State, and using all efforts to combat the Dictatorship of
Porfirio Diaz. He contributed to all the oppositional papers of the
time, particularly to the "Vesper" and "El Hijo del Ahuizote." In
1903 jointly with Santiago de la Hoz, Juan Sarabia and the brothers
Flores Magon, he founded the Anti-Releccionista Club "Rendencion,"
whose Vice-President he was, and also the weekly paper "Excelsior,'
a forceful opponent of Porfirio Diaz. Owing to this he was arrested
and imprisoned with all his companions in the prison of Belen, where
he was locked up for more than 6 months. When recovering his free-
dom he became an active collaborator in the only opposition weekly
which existed at the time and which was called "El Colmillo Publico,"
a matter which exposed him to an unpleasant persecution which
finally forced him to leave for Europe. In 1 9 1 he took part in the
anti-re-electionist movement, together with the brothers Gonzales
Garza, then because of Madera's triumph he was appointed a delegate
to the National Convention, and Secretary of the Mexico Board of
Aldermen, when the election took place, and he was also elected a
delegate to the Congress of the Union, by his native city. In the
Chamber he formed a part of the most insistent group of the so-called
"renovadores," having delivered some speeches which are worthy of
rememberance, such as the funeral sermon at the time of the assassina-
tion of President Madero, in which he protests against the crime and
praises the martyr. Cravioto remained in Mexico during the reign
of General Huerta, risking, like his companions, his life from day to
day, because of his dignified conduct in the Chamber; he organized
various revolutionist expeditions in the States of Hidalgo and Puebla.
MR. ALFONSO CRAVIOTO
Acting Subsecretary of Public Instruction and Fine Arts and Director
General of the Fine Arts Department
When the coup d'Etat was effected, he was locked up in the peni-
tentiary for three months, and he was on the point of being fusillated
in April, 1914, with Messrs. Urueta, Novelo, Curiel and others, be-
cause he had protested against the conduct of Huerta in relation with
the occupation of Vera Cruz. When the Constitutionalists triumphed,
Cravioto was appointed by Palavicini a member of his staff, and since
then he has occupied in the Department of Public Instruction and
Fine Arts the post of Chief of the University Section, editor of the
Bulletin of Education, Member of the Superior Council of Education,
Director General of Fine Arts, Head Clerk and Assistant Secretary
pro tempore, a post which he still occupies at the present moment and
to which he was recently promoted.
When the Villa reaction set in, Cravioto took without hesitation,
sides with the General in Chief and he is one of his most loyal and
The literaiy career of Cravioto is also distinguished and his name
has already gained renown in the country and abroad, through
writers, such as Justo Sierra and Ruben Dario, amongst many others
He has obtained prizes in literary contents, in Puebla, San Luis, and
Oaxaca. He has contributed most efficiently to the "Revista Moderna
de Mexico" in recent times. He was editor of the "Savia Nueva" and
he has founded and been President of the Antheneum of Mexico, a
body of such extraordinary intellectual importance, that already
numerous ministers, assistant secretaries, delegates, diplomats and
professors have been appointed from amongst its members. As critic
and lecturer on art he has written various books which have found
universal approval in Spain and France. The people of Vera Cruz
have of late had frequent opportunities to become acquainted with the
prominent oratorical skill of Cravioto.
Such is in a few words the life of the most active collaborator
of Felix F. Palavicini in the prominent work of revolutionary re-
organization of public instruction.
All the teachers appointed are full of enthusiasm and depart
with well defined intentions. It is too be hoped confidently that the
large number of teachers now going forth will to the fullest extent
merit the confidence which the constitutionalist Government is re-
posing in them.
("El Pueblo", Vera Cruz, May 13, 1915.)
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
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